Between 1 June 2021 and 1 May 2022, the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) received 3,250 naturalisation applications…
So far this year, 53,730 people received a decision from the Immigration and Naturalisation Service on their applications for naturalisation. Those who naturalise officially become Dutch citizens. The IND announced this figure in anticipation of the celebration of Naturalisation Day, the celebration of the new Dutch citizens, on Wednesday.
For the second year in a row, the number of naturalisation decisions is high. Last year, a total of 50,870 people were concerned. The year before that, there were 27,090. The increase is a direct consequence of the high influx of migrants in previous years. After several years of lawful residence in the Netherlands, these newcomers can apply for naturalisation.
Giving a timely decision
In response to the high influx, the IND made significant investments during the past period to decide on the applications for naturalisation in a timely and careful manner. The application process was optimised and digitalised. On top of that, the IND staff worked hard to keep up with the high influx. Also, a lot of attention was paid to expansion, guidance, and better management. Owing to these efforts, anyone making an application today receives a decision much faster.
Decision on the part of the King
Those who want to become Dutch citizens submit an application for naturalisation to the municipality. The IND will assess the request. For example, a person must be legally resident in the Netherlands for five years or more, must have passed the civic integration examination and not constitute a danger to public order or national security. If someone satisfies the conditions, the IND will let the applicant know so in a letter. This letter states that a proposal to grant Dutch citizenship has been submitted to the King. After the King's formal decision, the person in question has to participate in a naturalisation ceremony. After this, this person will officially be a Dutch national.
People choose naturalisation for practical reasons, but also because they feel connected to the Netherlands. This is also expressed in the declaration of allegiance made by the new Dutch citizens during the municipal naturalisation ceremonies. Because of COVID-19, the ceremonies have been replaced in many places by digital meetings or by a decision by letter.
Not everyone who has been in the Netherlands for a long time opts for naturalisation. This is because, for example, people have to renounce the nationality they already have. Or because a dual nationality can be difficult. Read more about the advantages and disadvantages of naturalisation here (Becoming a Dutch citizen: what are the advantages and disadvantages? | Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND)).
Processing naturalisation requests is a significant part of IND's work. The service also handles asylum applications and applications for regular residence permits, for example, for employees, students, or lovers. More information can be found in the 2020 Annual Report. The Annual Report 2021, with the total figures for all of the service provision, is expected to follow in April 2022.